Pros and Cons of Using Alaska Airlines for Pet Shipping

Rochdi Rais Rochdi Rais · Updated May 31, 2023

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Regarding pet shipping, selecting the right airline is crucial for your pet’s safety and comfort. Alaska Airlines is a popular choice for pet owners due to its reputation for excellent customer service and pet-friendly policies. This article will discuss the pros and cons of using Alaska Airlines for pet shipping, helping you make an informed decision for your furry companion’s travel needs.

Pros of Using Alaska Airlines for Pet Shipping

  1. Pet-Friendly Policies: Alaska Airlines is known for its pet-friendly policies, allowing small pets to travel in the cabin, larger pets as checked baggage, and even larger pets as cargo.
  2. Temperature-Controlled Environment: Alaska Airlines provides a temperature-controlled environment for pets traveling as checked baggage or cargo, ensuring their safety and comfort during the journey.
  3. Affordable Pricing: Compared to other airlines, Alaska Airlines offers competitive pricing for pet shipping, making it an affordable option for pet owners.
  4. Dedicated Pet Support: Alaska Airlines provides dedicated support for pet owners, offering assistance and guidance throughout the pet shipping process.
  5. Extensive Route Network: With an extensive route network across the United States and select international destinations, Alaska Airlines offers numerous options for pet travel.

Cons of Using Alaska Airlines for Pet Shipping

  1. Limited International Travel: Alaska Airlines covers many domestic destinations, but its international route network is limited. This may restrict your options if you plan to ship your pet to a destination outside the United States.
  2. Breed Restrictions: Alaska Airlines imposes breed restrictions for pet shipping, particularly for brachycephalic (snub-nosed) breeds, which are more susceptible to respiratory issues during air travel.
  3. Seasonal Embargoes: Alaska Airlines enforces seasonal embargoes on pet shipping due to extreme temperatures, which may impact your travel plans if you need to ship your pet during specific times of the year.
  4. Limited In-Cabin Availability: Alaska Airlines allows a limited number of pets to travel in the cabin, which may affect availability for your pet if the flight is fully booked.

External Resources for Pet Shipping

For additional information and resources on pet shipping, visit the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) website. IPATA offers guidance and support for pet owners to ensure safe and stress-free pet travel experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Shipping With Alaska Airlines

This section will address some common questions and concerns about pet shipping with Alaska Airlines, providing further insights into their services and policies.

What is the cheapest way to transport a pet?

Typically, ground transport is the cheapest way to transport a pet.  Longer trips using a transportation service, like CitizenShipper, typically average around $1.00 per mile.  Using a pet transportation service ensures your pet arrives in your new location safely, while minimizing stress and overall cost. 

How much does it cost to ship a pet internationally? 

While shipping your pet domestically is a relatively straightforward process, international shipping can be more complicated.  Hiring a pet transport service to help with international logistics can save a tremendous amount of stress and time.  

Each country of arrival will have specific regulations regarding pet health checks, necessary vaccination, and possible quarantine requirements.  The cost to ship a pet internationally can vary, especially if you need to board your pet for an extended quarantine. 

How much does it cost to transport cats?

The cost to transport cats will vary depending on the transport method.  Cats can be transported via ground or air transit, and are often small enough to be considered a “carry on” item.  Transporting a cat can cost as little as $25 on Amtrak, or as much as $125 to fly in the main cabin of an airplane.

How much does it cost to travel with a small pet?

Traveling with a small pet, compared to a large pet, is much cheaper.  Smaller pets can fit under the seat in front of you and can often qualify as a “carry on” item.  Traveling with small pets on Amtrak can cost $25, while airlines can charge around $125.  Keep in mind certain companies will only allow cats and dogs to travel.  

What does it cost to ship a puppy?

While puppies are small enough to fly in most airline cabins, they can incur additional costs.  Puppies generally require more attention, and therefore can be more expensive than shipping an adult dog or cat.  

Many breeders will utilize an air nanny service to accompany your puppy.  If the air nanny is experienced, or a regular, certain airlines may provide discounted rates or waive certain fees.  Breeders regularly ship puppies to their new homes and are well-versed in arranging transportation.  

Bottom Line

Weighing the pros and cons of using Alaska Airlines for pet shipping is essential for making the best decision for your pet’s travel needs. By considering factors such as pet-friendly policies, pricing, route network, and potential restrictions, you can make an informed choice for your pet’s journey. Remember, the safety and comfort of your pet should always be your top priority when selecting an airline for pet transportation.